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SuperFan app is SuperLame

Cartoon+by+Ethan+Ryan.
Cartoon by Ethan Ryan.

Cartoon by Ethan Ryan.

Cartoon by Ethan Ryan.

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Be honest: how many of you actually use the SuperFan app?  We’re guessing that, unless you were already going to a football game, you haven’t looked at it since the first day of school.        

Though the SuperFan app wasn’t meant to be as controversial as it has been, you don’t have to look far to find someone opposed to the app. The SuperFan app was meant to promote school spirit, but it lacks the understanding of what school spirit is.   

Spirit comes in many forms, whether it be participation in clubs, athletics or just a friendly body of students. But that’s not the logic of the new ‘SuperFan’ app, which only considers student attendance, and typically favors athletics as a measure of their school spirit. Not only does the app exclude fine and applied arts from consideration, it also neglects other athletic events. SuperFan only awards points for attending varsity games. Of all the events scheduled for October, 61% are varsity athletics.  Countless teams full of hard-working students are not being recognized for their efforts. How is an initiative that leaves out a majority of the student body supposed to motivate more people to engage?

That’s the thing: it doesn’t! It’s misguided to think that school participation is going to rapidly increase because the administration can push notifications. Besides, Barrington already has a club that promotes school spirit via face-to-face interaction: Big Red.

“Technology is hugely important- it’s going to make us better and better – but it’s not going to take away the importance of the human interaction,” Dr. Abraham Vergehese, who studies the interaction between medicine and technology at Stanford, said. Although the intentions behind being able to reach students from an app are understandable, that does not minimize the positive effects of human-to-human interaction.

The SuperFan app, although created with good intentions, is not an effective or meaningful way to encourage school spirit. School spirit should not be reduced to just showing up for the final product – it should include all the time and effort it took to get there. Being involved in your community means actively participating in practices, rehearsals and after-school clubs, not just watching from the sidelines. We believe that the SuperFan app should not be so focused on athletic events and should encompass performances and competitions from all fields of Barrington and that if it did, maybe more people would care. School spirit should be inclusive, and so should the SuperFan app.

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SuperFan app is SuperLame